Re: Western Digital GreenPower drives and Linux - Kernel

This is a discussion on Re: Western Digital GreenPower drives and Linux - Kernel ; i also have such a drive (damn, if i knew that saving some Watts would hurt...) - and i measured ~100 load_cycle_count per hour, which is _way_ to much, imho. if we trust the spec, the disk would be dead ...

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Thread: Re: Western Digital GreenPower drives and Linux

  1. Re: Western Digital GreenPower drives and Linux

    i also have such a drive (damn, if i knew that saving some Watts would hurt...) - and i measured ~100 load_cycle_count per hour, which is _way_ to much, imho.
    if we trust the spec, the disk would be dead after ~1year.

    it seems that "intellipark" is not that intelligent as it should be and a little bit too agressive.

    from what i have found, the time for parking the heads is much below the linux kernel flush interval (which seems to be at 30secs), so i think the best thing to do is tuning either dirty_expire_centisecs and dirty_writeback_centisecs (defaults to 3000/500 on my system) or tune the disk parking interval , so that the disks own interval is greater than the linux flush interval.

    i also openend an SR at WD - will see if they will recommend that dos utility, too.

    >I got back from WD's tech support and received a DOS utility which can control
    >this drive feature, apparently using vendor specific commands. With it head
    >unload timer can be disabled or set to a period between 100ms and 25.5s.


    doh - so that disk always is faster with parking it`s heads than linux default flush interval !?
    btw - is that dos utility available for download somewhere?

    regards
    roland



    List: linux-kernel
    Subject: Re: Western Digital GreenPower drives and Linux
    From: "Tvrtko A. Ursulin"
    Date: 2008-04-10 7:48:08
    Message-ID: 200804100848.08442.tvrtko () ursulin ! net
    [Download message RAW]

    On Wednesday 09 April 2008 21:18:35 Tvrtko A. Ursulin wrote:
    > I got one of them (WD5000AACS) recently and to my horror after less than
    > three days of being power on this is what I saw:
    >
    > 9 Power_On_Hours 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 66
    > 193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 197 197 000 Old_age Always - 10233
    >
    > At this rate the disk would reach it's design limit for load/unload cycles
    > in around 80 days. Not good - so I implemented a lame workaround of keeping
    > disk busy every couple of seconds - hopefully that won't kill it sooner
    > that unloads would..
    >
    > I am also currently talking with first line of WD's tech support trying to
    > get some data on how exactly those drives manage head unloading, but that
    > may not lead anywhere useful.


    I got back from WD's tech support and received a DOS utility which can control
    this drive feature, apparently using vendor specific commands. With it head
    unload timer can be disabled or set to a period between 100ms and 25.5s.

    Of course I asked for more than a DOS utility, but the question really is how
    was this feature intended to work with Windows for example, is there
    something there which would prevent such rapid load/unload cycle growth, and
    why isn't it documented somewhere?

    I am kind off hoping that someone from WD is reading this list and will notice
    this in case my effort with tech support fails.

    Tvrtko
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  2. Re: Western Digital GreenPower drives and Linux


    > >I got back from WD's tech support and received a DOS utility which can
    > > control this drive feature, apparently using vendor specific commands.
    > > With it head unload timer can be disabled or set to a period between
    > > 100ms and 25.5s.


    Followup with some good news.

    Head unload timer settings seems to be persistent across powering off. Having
    set it to a maximum value of 25.5 seconds my disk is now behaving much more
    reasonable.

    To actually do it I used FreeDOS floppy image burnt on a CD-RW as a bootable
    image plus wdidle3.exe in the filesystem itself.

    BTW, WD's tech support has gone silent so chances for an easier solution are
    not so great.

    Tvrtko
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  3. Re: Western Digital GreenPower drives and Linux

    On Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 5:00 PM, Tvrtko A. Ursulin wrote:
    >
    > > >I got back from WD's tech support and received a DOS utility which can
    > > > control this drive feature, apparently using vendor specific commands.
    > > > With it head unload timer can be disabled or set to a period between
    > > > 100ms and 25.5s.

    >
    > Followup with some good news.
    >
    > Head unload timer settings seems to be persistent across powering off. Having
    > set it to a maximum value of 25.5 seconds my disk is now behaving much more
    > reasonable.
    >
    > To actually do it I used FreeDOS floppy image burnt on a CD-RW as a bootable
    > image plus wdidle3.exe in the filesystem itself.
    >
    > BTW, WD's tech support has gone silent so chances for an easier solution are
    > not so great.


    Any chance you could make your iso available for the freedos w/
    wdidle3.exe bootable cd?

    I can't track down wdidle3.exe on wdc.com; they have "Data Lifeguard"
    and such but I have no idea if the wdidle3.exe is buried in those
    downloads.

    thanks,
    Mike
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  4. Re: Western Digital GreenPower drives and Linux

    On Saturday 12 April 2008 04:19:33 Mike Snitzer wrote:
    > Any chance you could make your iso available for the freedos w/
    > wdidle3.exe bootable cd?
    >
    > I can't track down wdidle3.exe on wdc.com; they have "Data Lifeguard"
    > and such but I have no idea if the wdidle3.exe is buried in those
    > downloads.


    According to the licence which comes with that thing distribution is not
    allowed. Also it wouldn't be bad if more people contacted WD about it so that
    they figure out they at least need to make it available as a download, if not
    something better.

    Tvrtko
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  5. Re: Western Digital GreenPower drives and Linux

    On Sat, Apr 12, 2008 at 3:11 AM, Tvrtko A. Ursulin wrote:
    > On Saturday 12 April 2008 04:19:33 Mike Snitzer wrote:
    > > Any chance you could make your iso available for the freedos w/
    > > wdidle3.exe bootable cd?
    > >
    > > I can't track down wdidle3.exe on wdc.com; they have "Data Lifeguard"
    > > and such but I have no idea if the wdidle3.exe is buried in those
    > > downloads.

    >
    > According to the licence which comes with that thing distribution is not
    > allowed. Also it wouldn't be bad if more people contacted WD about it so that
    > they figure out they at least need to make it available as a download, if not
    > something better.


    Just an FYI, I had a look at my counters for a 1TB GP I've had in
    always-on service (expansion drive for my tivo; which runs Linux) for
    6 months. I'm not seeing any issues, Load_Cycle_Count is quite low.

    Device Model: WDC WD10EACS-32ZJB0
    Firmware Version: 01.01B01

    9 Power_On_Hours 0x0032 094 094 000 Old_age
    Always - 4763
    12 Power_Cycle_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age
    Always - 7
    193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age
    Always - 9

    Given the Tivo is constantly doing IO it must've prevented the disk
    from ever spinning down.
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  6. Re: Western Digital GreenPower drives and Linux

    On Sat, Apr 12, 2008 at 11:20 AM, Mike Snitzer wrote:
    >
    > On Sat, Apr 12, 2008 at 3:11 AM, Tvrtko A. Ursulin wrote:
    > > On Saturday 12 April 2008 04:19:33 Mike Snitzer wrote:
    > > > Any chance you could make your iso available for the freedos w/
    > > > wdidle3.exe bootable cd?
    > > >
    > > > I can't track down wdidle3.exe on wdc.com; they have "Data Lifeguard"
    > > > and such but I have no idea if the wdidle3.exe is buried in those
    > > > downloads.

    > >
    > > According to the licence which comes with that thing distribution is not
    > > allowed. Also it wouldn't be bad if more people contacted WD about it so that
    > > they figure out they at least need to make it available as a download, if not
    > > something better.

    >
    > Just an FYI, I had a look at my counters for a 1TB GP I've had in
    > always-on service (expansion drive for my tivo; which runs Linux) for
    > 6 months. I'm not seeing any issues, Load_Cycle_Count is quite low.
    >
    > Device Model: WDC WD10EACS-32ZJB0
    > Firmware Version: 01.01B01
    >
    > 9 Power_On_Hours 0x0032 094 094 000 Old_age
    > Always - 4763
    > 12 Power_Cycle_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age
    > Always - 7
    > 193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age
    > Always - 9
    >
    > Given the Tivo is constantly doing IO it must've prevented the disk
    > from ever spinning down.


    Turns out 'wdidle3 /R' on my drive reported:
    "Idle3 Timer is disabled"

    I took no explicit action to disable it 6 months ago. It strikes me as
    odd that WD would disable the Idle3 timer in firmware given the whole
    "GreenPower" campaign but I was pleasantly surprised; others may be
    too...
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  7. Re: Western Digital GreenPower drives and Linux

    On Saturday 12 April 2008 17:56, Mike Snitzer wrote:

    [snip]
    >
    > Turns out 'wdidle3 /R' on my drive reported:
    > "Idle3 Timer is disabled"
    >
    > I took no explicit action to disable it 6 months ago. It strikes me as
    > odd that WD would disable the Idle3 timer in firmware given the whole
    > "GreenPower" campaign but I was pleasantly surprised; others may be
    > too...


    A data point from me. I have two of these, sda is 400GB and has root, boot,
    swap and home partitions, sdb is 1TB and has one big partition. They're in
    my desktop machine, which is usually powered on in the morning and off in
    the evening. It's two months old.

    sda:

    9 Power_On_Hours 0x0032 099 099 000 Old_age
    Always - 785
    12 Power_Cycle_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age
    Always - 141
    193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age
    Always - 144

    sdb:

    9 Power_On_Hours 0x0032 099 099 000 Old_age
    Always - 749
    12 Power_Cycle_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age
    Always - 122
    193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 195 195 000 Old_age
    Always - 17276


    The last of these numbers seems fairly high, compared to what others in this
    thread have reported, especially considering that the disk is quite new.


    //Niels

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